IWOL Chapter 172: Lunch is Served

 Cui Zuojing stayed on the steel frame all night. 

Throughout the night, he could faintly hear fighting and screams coming from other places, and people fleeing through his location from time to time. He’d even watched a battle between a pilgrim and the coveralls. That person wasn’t weak. He’d managed to fell down two overalls, was only slightly injured, and quickly hid before other creatures came to support their fallen comrades. 

The coveralls weren’t too strong, but they have an advantage in numbers. Their goals appeared to be to cleaning up the traces the pilgrims had left behind during the day and securing the premises by catching people. If a person deliberately hid, he should be able to spend the night without incident. 

A faint light appeared outside the window and slowly brightened. As the sky gradually lightened, the lights overhead suddenly went out, officially marking the end of the first night. 

The machines automatically began running again. 

Cui Zuojing stretched out and jumped off the steel frame. 

After one day and one night, the people still left alive should be those with some abilities. 

He just didn’t know if these abilities were enough to withstand him.

From the man killed by the “maintenance workers” last night, Cui Zuojing got two cards, Wolf and Red Deer, both of which had yet to be upgraded. The other pilgrims also seemed to be waiting to accumulate secret letters and cards before upgrading.   

Even so, these two cards looked much better than his little goldfish. 

…Saying it like this, why did it sound so sad?

Cui Zuojing walked freely through several factories, searching for secret letters. There were a lot of things in the factories. Except for the large processing machines that occupied the largest area, there were many containers and steel sheets stacked up in the corners, increasing the terrain’s complexity. 

Cui Zuojing jumped into a group of containers. Each of these boxes was much taller than the others. Walking through them was like walking in an alley. Soon, he found a letter sandwiched in the gap between two boxes.

Based on the experience of “key items wouldn’t appear multiple times in the same place,” he didn’t intend to waste anymore time in this place. 

He casually put the secret letter in his pocket, and when the air swished passed his ears, he tilted his head slightly, raised his hand and grabbed the fist that was just about to hit the back of his head. 

“Your footsteps are too heavy, your fist is too slow, and your strength is insufficient,” Cui Zuojing said, forcefully pushing the fist back and turning to face the attacker. “If it were left up to me, you would have been fined five kilometers for failing. Even the little girls in our team can do better than you.” 

He was smiling, but his eyes were cold and emotionless. The attacker, a very strong-looking man with a vertical knife scar, wasn’t put off by Cui Zuojing’s appearance. He immediately pulled back his fist and swept out his leg, attacking Cui Zuojing’s lower foundation. 

Cui Zuojing stepped back slightly, easily avoiding Scarred Face’s sweeping leg. At the same, he quickly grabbed the man’s wrist and pulled, using just enough strength to force Scarred Face to lean forward. Then, all of a sudden, his figure disappeared in front of the man. 

A huge force booted into Scarred Face’s ass, sending him flying!

“So boring.”

Cui Zuojing stared at the man who was hurriedly getting up from the ground. He slipped his hands into his pockets, raised his chin, and said without any emotion. “Are you going to take the initiative to hand over the card, or would you prefer that I search you?”

Scarred Face grounded his teeth fiercely. The brief fight had made him understand that he couldn’t beat the young man in front of him. 

“Count your blessings!” He left such a fierce sentence and waved an arm in front of him. Smoke rose up, and he disappeared in the blink of an eye. 

“Gone?” With his hand, Cui Zuojing fanned the white smoke floating in front of him. He smelled the scent of grass in the smoke, and shrugged his shoulders. 

It was really a useful ability to be able to run if you couldn’t beat others, and to run so fast too. 

He didn’t care at all that the other party had slipped away from his hands. If Cui Zuojing had the heart to chase after him, even if Scarred Face had such an ability, it would be difficult for him to escape Cui Zuojing

He just didn’t want to bother.

***************

[Prisoner 736] 

Two guards came all the way from the end of the corridor to the confinement cell where Dong Zheng was held. 

He “watched” this scene from the surveillance camera, and silently opened his eyes. 

As expected, in the next moment, the five-layered doors to the confinement cell opened one after another. The security guard walked over, put an electronic collar around his neck, unlocked his handcuffs and shackles, and told Dong Zheng to stand up and put his hands behind him. 

“Go.” The guard roughly pushed him out of the confinement cell. 

The surveillance camera showed that guards had also pulled out the prisoners in the neighboring confinement cells. The prisoners were escorted along a walkway with rough reprimands and shouts. If any prisoners talked back or wanted to resist, what awaited them was a slap in the face. 

Violence against prisoners was something that the prison had consented to. As long as no lives were lost, they would keep one eye open and one eye closed. After all, these prisoners were all extremely vicious criminals, and so no one would sympathetically give them solace. 

Dong Zheng deliberately didn’t create a scene. He silently and obediently followed the lead guard and observed the other prisoners. 

It was clear that humans weren’t the only beings held in the prison. There were all kinds of humanoid creatures with various body colors, skin colors, wings, tails, and horns, as well as many strange non-humanoid creatures. Dong Zheng even saw a yellow slime in a transparent box held by two guards. 

He was taken all the way to a large hall that was already filled with many prisoners, all standing under a stage and was separated by guardrails. 

Dong Zheng was taken to a small compartment and his handcuff was locked securely to the rail. Two guards stood behind him, the muzzles of their guns pressed against his waist. Dong Zheg had no doubts that if he made any untoward moves, they would shoot immediately. 

He stood very obediently, as if he was a genuinely honest person. 

But if one were to look closely, it was clear that he was staring at nothing, as if he was in a trance. 

Through the surveillance camera, Dong Zheng saw the old man in the black suit walked toward the hall. He was talking to another man who, judging by his clothes, should be the warden. 

Dong Zheng quickly pulled back his prying consciousness. 

He was afraid of being discovered. When he intruded into the electronic system, his consciousness existed in the form of a stream of data. If he wasn’t careful, he might be regarded as an illegal virus. Should he be targeted by the antivirus system, there was a chance his consciousness might become trapped or hurt, rendering him silly on the spot. 

Prisoners continued to enter the hall, and the area was soon packed. Prison guards were everything, keeping everything quiet and orderly. 

Dong Zheng was certain that the normal-looking humans among the prisoners were likely pilgrims like him. Because, they were also quietly observing their surroundings. Soon, the old man in the black suit and warden arrived. 

Once they were on stage, the warden’s expression became serious. He looked out at the prisoners as if he was looking at a group of trash, a trace of disgust flashing in his eyes. 

“Mr. Luke has brought good news,” the warden said coldly. “The people above had stipulated that this prison will have an amnesty. This is the only opportunity for amnesty in the past century since the prison was established. With this amnesty, you will have the right to leave this place.”

As soon as these words came out, there was an uproar in the crowd. If it weren’t for the muzzles of the guns, the overexcited prisoners might have overturned the roof. 

But mostly everyone quickly calmed, waiting for more words from the warden. Most of the prisoners held here weren’t simple. With the mentality that came with committing cruel crimes, they had superior IQs and great psychological fortitudes. 

“If you want amnesty, it is very simple. In the next two and a half days, you’ll need to do everything possible to escape from here. We will arrest those who are caught, and regardless of your remaining sentence, you will spend the rest of your life here.” 

“In short, we will take off the tracking device on your body and let you roam to your heart’s content. If you manage to escape, you will receive an amnesty. If you don’t want to escape, just stay here. You can choose to participate or not to participate.”

The warden looked around and said coldly, “Okay, is there anything else you didn’t understand?”

No one answered him, but they stared at him with ferocious eyes like wolves, wild with the eagerness to try. 

“Well, if there is no problem, let’s start signing up.” The warden and the old man in the black suit stepped off the stage and handed over the rest to the other prison managers. 

Almost all prisoners signed up. They were all gamblers. Since there was a chance to leave, why not take a gamble? 

Even so, they all knew that since the prison dared to do this, they must have a deeper purpose.

In other words, the prison authority wouldn’t grant prisoners amnesty for no reason. 

But what of it?

The prisoners who signed up were taken back to their respective cells, and the few prisoners who chose not to participate were taken away by the prison guards. 

Dong Zheng was locked back on his chair. According to the prison guard, the fight for amnesty will officially begin in two hours.

When the huge door in front of him opened again, what would he see? 

************

“Ugh…”

As Cui Zuojing walked through the factory, his stomach gurgled. 

He rubbed his concaved belly, his mouth uncomfortably dry. It had been nearly twenty hours since he’d entered the box, and he’d finished the water bottle he’d brought out from the small room not too long ago. 

 He was so hungry. 

In Endless IKEA, there was a special area for kitchen utensils. Food would automatically show up in the sink, stove, and microwave oven. Therefore, the people inside didn’t have to worry about eating or drinking; they only needed to resist the “IKEA employees” and the loneliness that was heavy enough to drive people crazy. 

Cui Zuojing knew that the circus definitely wouldn’t let them starve to death and that there must be a supply point. 

He sped up his search, and finally found a pipe that looked different in an inconspicuous corner.

The pipe looked like a drain pipe, with the bottom exit slightly curved up. There was a red strip of cloth painted with chibi version of the clown tied to it.

Cui Zuojing squatted next to it, knocked on the pipe, and whispered, “Hey man, give me something to eat.” 

A grunting voice sounded. 

Immediately afterwards, a lunch box and mineral water bottle rolled out with a pair of wrapped chopsticks. 

“That’s right. I finally came over, why not entertain me?” Cui Zuojing sat on the floor and opened the lunch box. The smell of black pepper steak soup immediately wafted out, and he almost bit his tongue. 

The scent made Cui Zuojing’s hunger worse. He took a bite, and the taste was as good as it smelled. 

The food provided by the circus was much better than before. 

“Thanks.”

Cui Zuojing took the lunch box, left the pipe, and found a hidden place to continue eating. He was starving and ate very quickly. In less than three minutes, the lunch box was nearly empty. 

Whoosh—! 

A piece of iron sheet suddenly flew from a distance and hit the container next to him with a “Ping!”

The chopsticks in Cui Zuojing’s hand paused.

“Boy, hand over the food,” came a gruff voice. An aunt who was bigger than a man appeared on top of a large container, looking down at the young man sitting cross-legged on the ground. 

Meanwhile, a thin woman emerged from the shadow of the container behind Cui Zuojing, holding iron plates in both hands and staring at the lunch box in the his hands. 

They were attracted by the smell. 

As they watched with wolf-like gazes, Cui Zuojing slowly put the last bite of rice drenched in black pepper sauce into his mouth, casually threw the lunch box aside, clapped his hands, and stood up. He said, “I’m sorry, I ate it all. If you want…how about I spit it out for you?”

 


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Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

DZ is playing cops n robbers

And CZJ is being savage as ever. These pilgrims don’t stand a chance against him lol Shame that one did manage to get away, but CZJ doesn’t care to hunt him down

Qi Qi
Qi Qi
2 years ago

They really had to find the wrong target xD
I wonder if we’ll also have a bit of the other team members apart from Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng. That’d be pretty interesting as we didn’t get to see their individual box o.o

Last edited 2 years ago by Qi Qi
Ketkai
Ketkai
2 years ago

We always see descriptions on what’s happening with the mc and the ml and not the others. Though it’d understandable since they’re the main focus. Curious how’s the test for the other wontons.

Xiao cui responding to the clown and eating is adorable lmao

theeggmonger
theeggmonger
1 year ago

Lol this wasn’t supposed to be a food novel, but I’m drooling? Haha thank you for the chapters!